About Hutchinson County
Hutchinson County, in the north central section of the Panhandle, is bounded on the north by Hansford County, on the east by Roberts County, on the south by Carson County, and on the West by Moore County. The county was named for pioneer jurist Anderson Hutchinson.
The Canadian River, fed by several small creeks, angles across the county from southwest to northeast; in the southwest it is dammed to form Lake Meredith. Broken land along the river and its tributaries forms fertile valleys. The northern part of the county is high rolling plain. Beef cattle, hogs, and poultry are also raised there, and irrigated land amounts to more than 40,000 acres. Since the 1920s, petroleum has been the chief industry; the southern part of Hutchinson County is the center of oil, gas, petrochemical, and synthetic-rubber production in the Panhandle.
Hutchinson County slumbered as a sparsely populated ranching and agricultural center until the discovery of the vast Panhandle oilfield in the early 1920s. Such ranchers as James M. Sanford, J. A. Whittenburg, and John F. Weatherly cashed in on the resultant boom; many townsites and oil camps such as Isom, Sanford, Fritch, Phillips, Stinnett, Signal Hill, Electric City, and Dial sprang up almost overnight as petroleum-related industries moved in and independent oil producers struck it rich.
The largest and rowdiest of these boom towns was laid out west of Dixon Creek in 1926 and named for its founder, A. P. (Ace) Borger. The town of Borger (1990 population, 15,675) remains the largest in the county and its chief commercial and cultural center, and Stinnett (2,166) is the county seat.
(For an expanded history, visit the County History page.)
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This page was last updated January 1, 2016.
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